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A.J. Woodman's translation combines accuracy and Tacitean invention, masterfully conveying Tacitus' distinctive and powerful manner of expression, and reflecting the best of current scholarship. An introductory essay discusses Tacitus' career, the period about which he wrote, the nature of historical writing in the Roman world, and the principles of translation which have shaped this rendering. No other translation captures more successfully the flavor, nuance, and power of Tacitus' greatest work.
This edition includes extensive notes; suggestions for further reading; appendices explaining political and military terms, and geographical and topographical names; imperial family trees; maps; and an index.
The current printing of the 2004 edition includes corrections and revisions made in 2008.
"Woodman has produced the most sophisticated English translation of Tacitus' Annals to date, one that will likely remain the standard for years to come. . . . Woodman successfully incorporates into his translation the sense and sound of the author's literary style. His deft rendering into English of Tacitus' word order and sentence structure, mimicking the ancient writer's preference for the unusual word and his propensity to employ metaphorical expressions, alliteration, and an unbalanced syntactic structure, imparts to his translation the artistic texture of this work of history. Woodman's Introduction provides an informative background to Tacitus and an explanation of how the translator has attempted to capture the artistry of the ancient historian. Annotations to the text increase understanding of events and and their participants without burdening the reader or interrupting the flow of the story. In addition to maps and a list of further readings, the work contains useful appendixes, such as a list of political and military terms and a stemma of the Julio-Claudian Emperors. Summing up: Highly recommended. Readers of all levels."
—R. I. Curtis, CHOICE
"An elegant addition to Tacitean scholarship. . . . The appendices are comprehensive and extremely useful for students, covering political and military terms that are cross-referenced to the text, the deployment of the army which can be confusing in the Annals, Rome, geographical and tribal names, and maps as well as a good index of names. . . . This translation has many eminently practical features, including clear layout, the use of footnotes, and numbering of the text. . . . The Introduction is very accessible and, coupled with the text, will be very useful for students."
—Alisdair Gibson, Journal of Classics Teaching
"This work is more than a superb translation. It is also in effect a succinct commentary on the whole of the Annals. The section in the Introduction on problems of translation is particularly valuable."
—J.N. Adams, All Souls College, Oxford
"This is a fabulous edition. It will be useful to students translating Latin, and to Roman history and Roman civilization students. Footnotes don't overwhelm the reader, yet are very apposite and helpful. It adheres to the standard format (division into Books and Chapters), while indicating more sensible narrative breaks."
—Mary T. Boatwright, Duke University
"Woodman's translation is both exceptionally accurate . . . and very readable. The notes, maps, glossary, and other ancillary materials are useful and attractive. . . . [Hackett] should be proud to have produced this edition, which surely will become the standard translation for all who wish to capture the true flavor of what Rome's greatest Imperial-era historian had to say."
—Eric Kondratieff, Temple University
"Finally there is an English translation which allows me to show my Latin-less students what Tacitus is saying and how he says it."
—Martin Helzle, Case Western Reserve University
About the Author:
A. J. Woodman is Basil L. Gildersleeve Professor of Classics, University of Virginia.